Last night’s American Idol elimination show offered up the clubby pop of British sensation The Wanted and the return of Season 5 country cutie Kellie Pickler. But it was the melodramatic montage featuring Tears For Fears’ “Shout” that set the tone for the night, because Idol voters delivered one of the first shockers of the season. After turning in one of his best performances on Wednesday, 17-year-old falsetto crooner DeAndre Brackensick got the boot, despite inferior outings by Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone (and a last-minute plea by Jennifer Lopez). Sometimes that’s the way the ringlets bounce.
But before all that drama, we saw the premiere of J. Lo’s “Dance Again” music video (after which she dodged Ryan Seacrest’s question about, ya know, falling in love with a certain dancer from the video).
Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine started his critiques with his man-crush Joshua Ledet (who was lightheaded last night, probably from forcefully expelling all that air and gravel from his lungs Wednesday.) Jimmy thought Ledet was a true pro and rated him a 10 out of 10. As for Jessica Sanchez, we’d give her a 10, but Jimmy had some quibbles. He made the somewhat absurd claim that Jessica’s voice required something bigger than even a Whitney Houston song. So, she out-powered the queen of power, and that’s a bad thing?
Finishing off the triforce of power (Zelda reference for you nerds out there), he thought Skylar Laine‘s performance solidified her spot in the “blow the roof off” division. Skylar seems well aware that country songs don’t offer the same opportunities to “reach up to the heavens”, so she knows she has to take advantage of the few chances to do it.
Next, The Wanted performed their addictive dance hit “Glad You Came”, with the requisite boy band mugging and a bevy of grunge-glam backup dancers. Your move, One Direction.
The Wanted, “Glad You Came” (Live On American Idol)
After that, we saw Kellie Pickler perform her breezy country single “Where’s Tammy Wynette” with a guitarist whose t-shirt was entirely too tight. In a classic bit of folksy country charm, Kelly said she thought all the remaining contestants would get a record deal.
Not if Jimmy Iovine has anything to do with it! He said Hollie’s Flashdance performance wouldn’t even have been a good high school performance. While we agree that she was stiff, we now want to know what high school Jimmy went to. He also said Elise choked, and her excuse was that she got too emotionally invested in the song.
Jimmy also felt Phillip Phillips needs to stop being coddled and prescribed him some good, old-fashioned tough love. But Phil was all “listen DUDE, I’m going to be myself, I’m not trying to walk around stage and grab people’s hands and stuff.” Look, eloquence isn’t his strong suit. But making us punch the air in delight is, whether he’s singing or calling Seacrest “dude.”
Lastly, while we (and the judges) were soundly on the DeAndre bandwagon after Wednesday night, Jimmy wasn’t. He felt DeAndre was the weakest of the guys, and it turns out America agreed. DeAndre was on the chopping block, and before he started singing for his life, he adorably mouthed to his family to stop crying.
J. Lo, who has been adamantly pro-DeAndre, broke the sacred judge’s code of trust by telling the world that Randy and Steven opposed her “save” vote. New age Navy chaplain from the future Steven Tyler says “Not cool, dude.”
Maybe JLo can hire DeAndre for her next music video. At 17, he’s right in her demographic.
Next week: More singing, more voting. Can Elise bounce back or has she used up all nine of her lives?